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ASK THE STAFF

March/April 2013

Veterans need new board member training in ’13, too
by Angie Peifer

Angie Peifer, IASB associate executive director for board development and Targeting Achievement through Governance, answers the question for this issue.

Question: As a veteran board member, I have been receiving materials and information about post-election workshops. Aren’t these designed for newly elected board members rather than re-elected veterans?

Answer : During the past two years, legislation changed the requirements for all board members regarding board development and training. Prior to 2011, new board member training was encouraged by the Illinois Association of School Boards, but it was voluntary. All that changed when the General Assembly mandated that all board members should receive instruction in education and labor law, financial oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities through Public Act 097-0008.

Every school board member elected or re-elected in 2013 must complete this four-hour training within one year of taking the oath of office. IASB began offering this training online in early 2012. Veteran members who have completed this course, Professional Development Leadership Training (PDLT) have fulfilled the four-hour mandatory training requirement. However, those who have not completed the course are required to do so.

In addition, the Performance Evaluation Training Act (PERA training) also stipulates that, in order to vote on a certain type of expedited teacher dismissals, board members must complete training in that area. For more information on the requirements of PERA, please refer to IASB’s publication PERA Overview for School Board Members, available online at http://iasb.com/law/PERAoverview.pdf. As a veteran board member, you are not excused from any of these mandatory requirements.

Most veteran board members who will be re-elected have not yet fulfilled the four-hour PDLT or PERA training requirement.

The materials you have been receiving provide information about 12 face-to-face workshop sessions for the mandatory PDLT. We anticipate that IASB will also be an approved provider of the required PERA training at that time, which will be included in these sessions. The sessions will be offered over six weekends at 12 locations between May 10 and June 22. For a list of the dates and locations, please see page 19 in this issue.

All of these sessions are offered Friday and Saturday. The Friday session is designed to fulfill all mandatory training requirements for both veteran and first-time board members. The Saturday session provides a day of comprehensive training on the roles and responsibilities of school board members designed primarily for new board members. However, veteran board members are welcome and encouraged to attend with their new colleagues.

Cost is $175 for either day, or $325 for what’s being called the “two-day boot camp.” The PDLT course will count as a Core Workshop in Leadership Academy and 10 Master Board Member points.

Registration begins in early March when all district superintendents and board presidents will receive a mailing outlining the details of the workshops. Registration forms also will be available in early March online at www.iasb.com.

Veteran board members will also be able to complete the mandatory training online. For more information about the online version of PDLT, please go to IASB’s website, http://iasb.com/training/onlinelearning.cfm.

Now more than ever, these are important professional development events. Make certain that your new board team gets started on the right path by registering for the workshops that members need to stay in compliance with state statutes.

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